Panda Internet Security 2008 - PC

It’s the time of year when internet security suites start to appear in mass numbers, all of them boasting new features for the coming year ahead. This latest version of Panda Internet Security is a mid-priced offering, as the £43 asking price allows you to install it on three machines before you need to acquire any more licenses.

We’ve grown accustomed to security suites having a fairly intuitive and easy-to-use interface these days but this isn’t the case with Panda, as the inexperienced user won’t find it intuitive or that easy to use. However, once you get the hand of navigating the set-up screen, you’ll be sure of what the package offers.

The most interesting new feature is the use of the MegaDetection engine, which is an enhanced set of scanning tools, which made their first appearance as part of Panda’s online service. The new engine isn’t as quick as that of BitDefender or even Norton's 360 products but it’s amazingly thorough. If you’re worried that your PC is used to visit some dubious sites, then this is the tool for you, as it detected everything we set-up.

It’s not only the scanning that is impressive, as there is also the firewall. It proved easier than most to set-up but far more appealing is the fact it sits in the background and doesn’t prompt you every time an application tries to access the Internet, which is a fault of far too many suites.

Of the new features, perhaps the most interesting is the addition of Wi-Fi access detection. If you’ve set up a wireless network in your home, there is little way of knowing if it’s been accessed, except by configuring the encryption correctly. The new tools aren’t really any more secure than an encrypted network but knowing that someone is trying to log on is half the battle.

It’s not all good news, though, as there are a number of features that are supposed to offer greater value for money. The parental tools are a case in point, being a little basic for our liking. Also, the backup tools offer little more than what you’ll find in Windows Vista. Much better are the PC optimization tools, which help improve the overall performance of your PC or notebook.

Verdict

Sadly, what lets Panda Internet Security 2008 down are the extra tools that are supposed to bring a wider variety of usability to the package.

However, Panda Internet Security 2008 is excellent at its core competencies that of being a powerful scanning and firewall tool. While it’s not the cheapest or fastest out there, it’s well worth the asking price.